The only show in South Carolina (at the University basketball arena) is also considered by some the finest Hallowe'en show. But apparently it's also a polarizing show - some say it's the bee's buds, others say avg '85. It's one of Blair's faves, and it's much better than both the night before and the better-known night after. I'd say top ten for the year and contender for best Hallowe'en. They play very consistently in the second set and it's an in-context show, playing great as a whole.
First Set. Before the Funiculi Funicula, for a few seconds (@0:33>0:57), you can hear Jer play the Peer Gynt Suite #1. You can hear it better at the start of the zei_2028 source (which is a different, true SBD source). Phil then fucks around with the Heads and the band picks this up as a sorta-Space before launching the first Werewolves of London in seven years. Usually you get rust on a dry-run breakout, but this is better than the '78s, even if Jer can't recall all the lyrics. After a solid Music Never Stopped there's a Teddy Bear's Picnic then a downtempo West L.A. Fadeaway. Check out the honest-to-gods jam in Mexicali @2:20>4:00. Half of the verses are flubbed for Tennessee but there's a nice end solo, natch. The bookends are all fireworks, with a large-scaled Looks Like Rain and an exciting Might as Well.
Second Set. This Shakedown keeps to the tradition of lengthy Hallowe'en Shakedowns ('79, the other great Hallowe'en Shakedown, is 17mins). This is also the best one since 6/14/84; the end jam extraordinary. This rolls over into a wonderful Playing in the Band. After segueing into a solid Ship, Bobby veers back into a conventional Playin' Reprise, but it quickly devolves into a one-off jam and then a long Drums transition. Phil leaves right away in the jam, followed by Brent. Space is part drums as well, with the drummers staying out for all three of these sections. Though the previous Dear Mr. Fantasy went into Hey Jude, and that would become common, this one does not. The rest is above average.
1st Set: B 2nd Set: B-
Overall = 3¾ stars
Funicula>Hallowe'en Intro>Werewolves - worth the wait
Looks Like Rain - large scale version
Might as Well - party capper
Shakedown Street - trad with epic end jam
Playing in the Band - then Bobby receives the thunder baton
SOURCES: The miller_23590 is the real SBD, re-pitched & patched. You'll need some EQ to dial it in. The sbd_19209 runs way too fast. The zei_2028 has misplaced tracks and runs fast. The AUDS 126314_chasingwilma and 122146_senn_roberts are also speedy so try others (all seem to be the well-traded Oade source, regardless of claimed lineage). The loy_30829 is a fine matrix, however the matrix_loy_31189 is NOT a matrix, but rather an EQd SBD. A very blurry vid is usually up on YouTube.
April 10, 2017 Subject:
I usually refrain from commenting on my perceived quality of the show, but having listened to every minute of the archive to this date, I think this is the best show of 1985, so far. It actually stands out as one of the best in a few years to my ear. It's not set list candy, but the playing is just focused and intense.
November 1, 2016 Subject:
Heaven Help the Fool
That is all i can say--Heaven help the fool who was peaking during the Space leading into Werewolves.
Really that is beyond intense meltdown
Phil at his Raven, never more best..
a waste is a terrible thing to mind
support our trips...
And that space colors the Werewolves and the rest of the set to boot.
I read somewhere that Werewolves has the Sweet Home Alabama riff, you can hear Brent tinkering with it.
Oh my what a phat Phil intro into Music Never Stop.
Bob could have let that percolate just a tad more,
Bob sounds like he is a few seconds in front of the band lyrically but Jerry owns the middle passage jam. Always found MUSIC anywhere in the set to be a good sign.
Nice little jam after Music, well more just tuning but we don't usually get any of that when MUSIC is in the 1st set closer spot.
West L.A. has enjoyed a bit of resurgence over the years especially since it got some love at the 50 year 2015 run. Always thought it captured the 80's time period very well. (along with the 90's Picasso Moon but alas not many up for Chrome spiked bunnies.).
I like Garcia's vocals for this show , he comes across pretty strong on the delivery front.
You know Weir had to be like a kid in a candy shop with all those Southern College women front and center, so heck yeah--Mama Tried>Mexicali
Jed- i go thru phases with Jed, always fun south of the Mason Dixon line. kinda like a render the anthem type tune. A more upbeat take on the Night they Drove old Dixie Down.. The Might as Well of the Confederacy.
Good to hear Brent get in on the backing vocals.
Wow, the crowd is buzzing after Tenn Jed.
Like I said already on Garcia , he seems with the up beat flow of the show, He leaves the ballad to Weir.
And Bobby takes full advantage with a see you between sets Looks Like Rain.
In later years this got bumped by tunes like Masterpiece and Desolation Row but it would have been great if Bobby had left this tune right where it was best played somewhere in the 1st set.
This song got somewhat overproduced especially when they added the produce aisle thunder and showers. Still "I will sing you love songs, written in the letters of your name" does it get any better!
A little Chula Vista cruiser for the poor tripping fools.
And then yes it is Might as Well to close Set One a tune that just disappeared from the radar. a good tune but always seemed to be a bit of challenge to pull off. Definitely rough on Garcia's vocal range --Yet what a dance song and a few minutes longer than Don't Ease! IF YOU HAVEN'T SWEAT THRU ALL YOUR CLOTHES,,,YOUR NOT DANCIN' HARD ENOUGH
One of the great things about Garcia in 85 is he would not quit. He followed up Might as Well with Shakedown
and to me Shakedown might be the best 10/31 love song in the Dead's repertoire. Phil is nice here and Brent getting some on backing vocals.
Just gotta poke around-- This is a 15 minute Shakedown straight into P.I.T.B
Love the intro into Playing! and here Bob just nails the vocal intro.
Playing gives them a chance to really open things up so they can just jam. This to me is where I would literally feel like i was floating on air as much as I love the individual songs it was when the band just went for it. In those moments it made all the trials and tribulations of travel and being away from home and whatever unexpected events came to a head. A beautiful jam really I can already tell there will be no reprise almost sounded like the Wheel but this is a well placed Ship of Fools and really this is Jerry's ballad for the evening. If SHIP actually is a ballad? On this night it has some real kick to it. I think Garcia sang "Many Years upon my head" this night
Honestly the only reason I give this a 4 is because I wasn't there. So I am switching it to a freaking 5.
I enjoyed every show I had the privilege of attending and to my ears this sounds like the band was absolutely ripping and firing on all cylinders.
I caught Red Rocks in September and Richmond just after this and to me this was a very good time to be a Deadhead.
Is it all subjective if the band is on or not? Well, one thing when I hear the band move from one tune right into the next I took that as a sign that they were pretty focused. 1985 seemed like a good year for the express freight train they play right thru the 2nd set.
The jam probably has to be labelled a Playing jam at least to start. it has the Main Ten theme but some Space. here is a bold statement --- This jam has almost an Other One kinda vibe to it.
I guess one could surmise that this gig might have run into some time restraints, you know many arena shows had pretty strict time restrictions.
This being a College Campus gig may have had a bearing on that as well. If the show started late or the set break went long both of which in the world of GD touring did happen at any time on any night.
But still the question is does the music suffer and i would say most certainly NOT. the Drumz is pretty hot as they pound on the Big Kahuna drumz with some beam type feedback to boot. It is not super drawn out but again imagine what a night to be dosed, Jerry immediately leads everyone into a pretty frantic jam. I wouldn't even call it a Space jam.
It seems to me more way more focused and direct then the pre-drumz quasi Playin jam.
In a way it could even be a continuation of that jam except that Garcia is moving so fast that there is no way they are getting back into the Main Ten tonight.
Well they almost did but Mr. Fantasy is a much better choice. In 1985 Brent was still finding his way into the big spotlight. And as he was beginning to feel it--well it just added a whole added dimension to the band. It had to be great for Bob and Jerry giving them a chance to focus on the music and let Brent sing the lead here and there.
Notice how Weir and Garcia come up and take the lead on the chorus.-- they tried to keep Brent from getting in over his head. (It was a freaking shame when Mydland passed)
N.F.A as the set closer is just fine. Sure I could have gotten off during a 10 minute NFA closer.
Look if they didn't play common encores then how would tour heads be able to get set-up before the crowds let out? Do you think there were a lot of hot grilled cheese or kind veggie burritos ready to go after the Cap Centre Ripple? No we were all to busy hugging and picking our tongues up off the floor.
And you know what? Anyone who got to see Garcia playing in the Grateful Dead was one blessed individual. I would trade one U.S. Blues with Garcia for just about anything i have seen without him.
"Shake the hand that shook the hand"
January 18, 2015 Subject:
I dig this show
It is short yes, but its not like on archive we paid for a ticket. The show starts out with wacked goodness the space is great and wierd into a hot Werewolves, the first post 1978, first time they played it in association with Halloween into a fine Music and one of the better West La Fadeaways I can think of.
May 2, 2013 Subject:
In case no one has ever noticed this, the Dead typically pulled out a lot of cowboy songs during their swings down south. Maybe they figured they were playing to a bunch of Allman Bros/Marshall Tucker Band/James Gang fans, so they decided to go extra country. Just look at the setlist of any shown in Texas, Georgia, Tennessee, or Missouri. You are almost guaranteed to get the full compliment of Me & My Uncle>Big River, Mamma Tried, Mexicali Blues, Tennessee Jed, and El Paso, give or take one or two.
Great West L.A. Fadeaway here. Good show, okay sound.
October 31, 2011 Subject:
Cowboy Country set
Yes, this show was short, and a little bit on the Cowboy Country side, but the boys were just saving their energy for the NEXT NIGHT, which is now a Dick's Picks show. I saw them both live, as I had it good back then.
November 7, 2009 Subject:
Nobody Likes a Critic
I don't care what anyone says about this show, IMO it rips. This was one of my favorite tapes growing up. Still my favorite Looks Like Rain!
March 10, 2008 Subject:
10-31-85 Columbia SC
A Rainy Halloween. Keywords: wet, weird, fun, short, disappointed. The songs were played well, it's just that there were not enough of them.
During Not Fade Away, as Bobby was running from one end of the stage to the other in a long sleeve tie dye, and pointing the microphone out at the audience, we watched in dismay at this sad display of weird cheese, from the Phil Zone. I was thinking, OK, there's going to be redemption in the encore... As soon as we heard US Blues, we were on our way out, almost in disbelief at only 2 songs after Space...
Sound is a 5, show is a 2. Avg. down to 3, since for most people setlist is more important than quality.
Best recording of this show that I've heard.... Good first set,Shakedown's ok,nothing like Merriweather'85 or Oakland in November '85 and then it's downhill from there unfortunately.But a bad Dead show is better than a good day at work Fo Sho' !!